Exciting news for archives managers! A new standard can help you improve your services and highlight your excellence. Find out more on the Archive Service Accreditation webpage and in this blog post by Melinda Haunton.
Three things I like about the scheme:
- One size doesn’t fit all. The scheme accommodates archives services of all shapes and sizes and appreciates that they exist for various purposes. I was worried that it would be heavily record-office oriented as is often the case with archives things, but, really, it isn’t.
- It’s about building better services. To gain accreditation, organisations don’t have to be perfect (because, who is?). They do have to show that they understand their problems and are working to improve.
- It’s a partnership. I feel that as a future applicant I was fully consulted and informed throughout and had plenty of opportunities to have my say, at events and online. I’ve seen the proposals improve through these processes (e.g. better coverage of different kinds of service and more emphasis on virtual collections and visitors).
I definitely plan to apply for accreditation for Special Collections at Bradford, of which more as things progress. Incidentally, even at this early stage, we’re already reaping benefits from the scheme. “Going for accreditation” sounds impressive to managers and colleagues who know little about archives. It implies that there are standards and that we need to meet them. It will also help us in working with funding bodies and individual donors. Good news all round!
Image credit: Jacquetta Hawkes’ OBE, received for her work on the Festival of Britain (HAW 19/7).